LEBANON, OH. – A pair of harness racing longshots that did not win preliminary legs of their respective Claim To Fame Series did capture championship finals at Miami Valley Raceway on Monday afternoon (Feb. 4) over a sloppy strip dulled by warming temperatures followed by a persistent chilly rain.
Winwood Scout (LeWayne Miller) proved best in the $15,000 trotting split, besting favorites Undercover Strike (Kayne Kauffman) and Mikey Hanover (Brett Miller) in 1:56.3. Miller got away fourth with the 9-year-old son of Keystone Nordic before moving into the outer flow just prior to the halfway juncture.
Still third at the three quarters station, Winwood Scout was steered wide at the head of the stretch to engage and ultimately wear down the more highly regarded frontrunners. Although the series finalists staggered home following taxing fractions over the sticky track, Winwood Scout showed the most resolve in the final strides.
Jana Cromer claimed the winner of the $27,500 final just a week ago and entrusted him to Charles Stewart to prep for the series championship. Winwood Scout returned an $18.40 mutuel, despite the fact he was dispatched as the betting favorite in both of the preliminary legs.
A purse of $17,500 was on the line when the $8000 claiming mares championship went postward. The race resulted in the largest win payoff of the day when driver Josh Sutton steered Turnitdownforwatt to a 1:55.1 victory despite the disadvantage of starting from post nine.
The 5-year-old Shadyshark Hanover mare was ducked when the gate swung open, but moved early into the outer flow. With live cover, Sutton moved the ultimate champion up to fourth at the :56.2 half and third at the 1:25.2 third timer. With good momentum, Turnitdownforwatt collared even-money favorite Dolly's Girl (Trace Tetrick) in mid-stretch. Fellow longshot Endeavors Ladyluck (Trevor Smith) closed with resolve to grab the sizeable show dough.
Turnitdownforwatt paid a whopping $80.40 to win while the exacta with Dolly's Girl returned a handsome $263.20 return. Larry Finn trains the winner for owner Joseph Baron.
A $25,000 Open Trot was also presented with All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) returning to his winning ways for the first time in two months. The 6-year-old Swan For All gelding bested Pine Dream (Trace Tetrick) and Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) in 1:55.3 for his fourteenth career victory, increasing his earnings to over $168,000 for owners Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas. The 5-2 second choice of the betting public is trained by Ken Rucker.
Four $6000 divisions of the first elimination round of a Survivor Series for bottom level $5000 claiming mares resulted in the field being reduced in half. The top five finishers in each of the four races advanced to round two next week when the purses jump to $7500. The top five from those eliminations will compete in a $15,000 championship a week later.
Winners in Week One were Grimalkin (Brett Miller), Bugatti Beauty (Dan Noble), Friskie Teddy (Noble) and Star Of Our Show (Travis Seekman).
The 50-cent Lucky Pick 5 at Miami Valley, contested over races ten through fourteen, went unsolved on Monday afternoon and now features a $4793 carryover into Tuesday (Feb. 5) afternoon's program. In conjunction with the USTA Strategic Wagering program, the Pick 5 pool will feature a $10,000 guarantee. Post time for the tenth race is usually around 5 p.m. on a matinee at Miami Valley.
From the Miami Valley Media Department